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Supersport success for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda in first Valencia qualifying - April 13th 2007

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    The Spanish sun appeared just in time for the first qualifying session for round four of the 2007 World Supersport Championship in Valencia today. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Kenan Sofuoglu is already well on the way to securing a front row start in Sunday's race after he finished at the top of the timesheet. Despite being caught out by an oil spill on turn two of the 4km track, temporary team-mate Andrew Pitt recorded the fifth fastest time.

    Sofuoglu started the day on top form and completed the morning wet free practice with the fastest lap time of 1'39.549. He followed this up in the official qualifying by beating his earlier time by almost two full seconds. After putting in some consistently fast laps for much of the 45-minute session, he finished with a best time of 1'37.521.

    With only eight minutes left on the clock, an oil spill on track caused Pitt and six other riders to run off. The session was red flagged while the substance was cleared, allowing Pitt to regain his focus and swap to his spare bike. He re-joined qualifying and put in an impressive final lap on the CBR600RR to be placed fifth with a time of 1'38.478.

    Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:

    "The Supersport riders have started very well. Kenan not only concentrated on a single fast lap, he also made a longer run while doing it. Whether we race in the wet or dry we are pretty sure which tyres we will use. Andrew is steadily becoming more acquainted with the bike and he got a good result in the end. He was very unlucky to crash at the end of the session as he had to move to his second bike, but he still managed to secure his single fastest lap. All in all, fifth position is good and I am sure that after what we have seen from Andrew today he can definitely improve tomorrow."

    Kenan Sofuoglu:

    "I am happy with the position today. We tested here about three months ago and found a really good set-up for the bike but now it does not feel so right. I have learned that testing and racing are two very different things and the set-up we like at the test is not always right for the race. Overnight we will be looking at this and we will change some things in time for tomorrow. I hope the weather stays good and I look forward to the second session."

    Andrew Pitt:

    "I was fifth this morning in the patchy conditions and then fifth again this afternoon so I'm pretty happy with that. I feel like I'm working well with the guys and the bike is feeling good. I had a bit of a crash on the oil at the end and had to go out on the spare bike for the first time, but I was able to get one lap in and managed to improve my time. So far, so good - I'm happy enough."

    Qualifying times:

  1. 1. K. Sofuoglu, 1'37.521
  2. 2. K. Fujiwara, 1'37.729
  3. 3. K. Curtain, 1'37.885
  4. 4. P. Riba, 1'38.095
  5. 5. A. Pitt, 1'38.478
  6. 6. F. Foret, 1'38.524
  7. 7. B. Veneman, 1'38.532
  8. 8. G. Nannelli, 1'38.564
  9. 9. R. Harms, 1'38.568
  10. 10. J. Lascorz, 1'38.649